- Follow Brynjolf into the Ragged Flagon Cistern.
- Discuss your Membership, and new assignment, with Mercer Frey and Brynjolf.
- (Optional) Speak to Vex about Goldenglow Estate.
- (Optional) Enter Goldenglow using sewers.
- Burn three bee hives
- Clear out Aringoth’s safe.
- Return to Brynjolf and give him your findings.
Speak with Brynjolf and Mercer about your membership and to begin this quest. Before you head out, speak to Vex in the Ragged Flagon to learn about the sewer entrance. If you’d like to level up your lock-picking, you can go to the training room in the Thieves Guild. There you will find a chest of every lock level waiting to be played with. It is okay to pick these locks and take what you find without sneaking or worrying about repercussions from the Guild.
Once you start the quest, begin by burning the hives. If you swim to the far point of the island (behind the beehives where the rocky outcropping will cover any view of your approach) you can hop up the rocks while sneaking, and move in carefully between the wall and the hives. Set the two closest to the edge of the group on fire. The flames should spread to the third. (Equip a torch and wave it against the beehive to set it aflame without lighting too many.)
Burning more than 3 beehives will forfeit your gold reward also both Maven Black-Briar and Brynjolf will criticize you about this.
The mercenaries will notice you after you’ve set the hives on fire. You are allowed to kill them. If you’d like to avoid the fight, sprint and swim away, sneak when you are far enough and wait until the sneak-eye is closed before returning for the second part of the quest.
If you approach from the same direction (behind the beehives), sneak around the left to find the sewer entrance. You’ll have to swim a bit to get there and avoid being noticed. (If you fought and killed all of the mercenaries outside, you can enter the house through the front door, but you’ll miss some decent loot behind a locked gate in the sewer). After entering the sewer, you’ll have to fight some skeevers (they can give you diseases so killing them from a distance is suggested). There are many oil puddles in the sewers that you can light on fire to make quick work of the nasty little things. Grab the loot behind the locked gate, and then head to the exit which will take you back outside (conveniently close to the back door).
The back entrance is locked at the expert level, but even if your skill is low you can attempt the lock for a good chunk of skill experience. If the expert-level lock is frustrating, you can try to enter by the front unseen (waiting until night should make this easier).
Once inside, explore the first level for some experience lock-picking and some decent rewards. There are a multitude of chests containing gold and unowned items. There are mercenaries on both levels, whether you fight them or sneak around them makes no difference. You can go directly to the safe downstairs, or head upstairs to Aringoth. If you head upstairs, Aringoth is crouched and hidden next to a bookshelf on the upper deck of his room, to the left of the bed. You can speak with him to try and get the key to his safe (it’s another expert-level lock) or sneak in and pickpocket him. If you speak to him and he refuses to hand over the key, he will attack you. It is okay to kill him, and he has good loot. There is also a Bee Statue that you can pick up to the right of the bed. It isn’t worth anything to regular merchants, but returning it to Delvin in the Thieves Guild will give you an additional reward of gold.
Once you’ve gone down to the cellar and retrieved the bill of sale from the safe, head back to the Thieves Guild for your reward.
Your next quest will pop up in the dialogue for your reward from Brynjolf. Make sure you go through the dialogue options to find out why Maven wants to meet with you. Some players were experiencing a bug with this quest not completing and/or not getting the next one. The next quest is assigned after he pays you, which arises from asking about why Maven wants to see you.